Rather than head to Europe, a number of NHL players are contemplating a startup league in Quebec.
Following up on a story reported by True Hockey, CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio spoke with one of the Flyers’ French-Canadian players — Daniel Briere — who said teammates Max Talbot and Bruno Gervais are trying to organize a series of games in their home province.
“They’re trying to get something going where the players of Quebec would play each other. I was invited to see if I was interested, but I don’t think they have anything formal,” Briere said. “I’m looking at all the options. There are many options now that I’m looking at.
“We’ll see. I want to wait till the end of this week first and then kind of evaluate the options.”
The idea of a Quebec-based barnstorm league is similar to what ex-NHLer Joel Bouchard organized during the 2004-05 lockout.
He created the McDonald’s Caravan, a 16-weekend tour of four-on-four hockey that featured the likes of Jose Theodore, Simon Gagne, J.S. Giguere, Yanic Perreault and Alexandre Daigle.
The league toured throughout Quebec and all proceeds from the McDonald’s Caravan went to charity, something the proposed incarnation is planning as well.
Briere recalled Bouchard’s league and spoke glowingly about the legacy it left behind.
“They traveled and called it the caravan and they traveled all over Quebec with different games every weekend,” Briere said. “I didn’t get to participate in that because I was in Switzerland, but it was a lot of fun from what I heard.”
As for the 2012 lockout edition, it’s believed teams would be based in Quebec City and Montreal, with the possibility of adding clubs in Toronto and Ottawa.